Prep Your Pantry: Vietnamese Essentials

For the month of August I’m paying homage to my mother and heritage with Vietnamese and Vietnamese inspired recipes. Just like a sharp looking ensemble requires the right foundation (Spanx anyone?) Vietnamese cooking requires you to have an array of ingredient staples on hand to ensure the best, most authentic result. When all are already in your kitchen it is easier to approach this style of cooking. The cooking process is generally very quick, but I find it’s just the lengthy list of ingredients that intimidates people (and sometimes myself to be perfectly honest). I will not include ALL of these basics, but rather the truly mandatory few and the ingredients used throughout this month’s recipes. Your shopping list includes:

  • FISH SAUCE aka Nuoc Cham The Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: Nuoc Cham

Note, not all fish sauces are created equal! Choose one made with fish, salt and water and avoid ones with added sugar (fructose) and hydrolyzed wheat protein. I used Red Boat while recipe testing, so I suggest going that route for the sake of consistency.

  • LIMESThe Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: limes
  • SCALLIONS/GREEN ONIONSThe Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: green onions + scallions
  • SUGAR/PALM SUGARThe Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: Palm Sugar + Sugar

Again, for the sake of consistency, do not substitute honey, agave, etc. Do not pass “GO.” Do not collect $200. And if you’re using that Splenda/stevia poison, just stop that immediately. Forever.

  • CILANTROThe Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: Cilantro
  • PEANUTSThe Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: Peanuts
  • RICE VINEGARThe Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: Rice Vinegar
  • SrirachaThe Model Well Fed Vietnamese Pantry Staples: sriracha

Bet you have that one covered!

One comment

  1. Yep, I have Sriracha hot sauce!! My parents also like to keep Hoisin sauce in the house at all times and we always have rice paper wraps! Oh and it’s not dinner without rice–LOL! But that’s for every Asian family!

    Like

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